Saturday, April 4, 2015

Aggie plans summer-long trip to Europe

By Sadie Hughes

Turkey, Hungary, Austria, France, Spain and Italy. John Thompson, a junior at Utah State University, will visit all of these places on a trip through the Huntsman School of Business Go Global program followed by two months of exploring on his own and with his family.

On May 28, Thompson will begin his journey in Turkey and Hungary with the other students in the Go Global program.

"We will be applying course knowledge while visiting business leaders abroad," said Mandy LoPatriello, another student going on the trip. "This program will help us accomplish personal, academic and career goals by providing an invaluable experience internationally."

The students will visit businesses that originated in the two countries to see the effects of global economics on society. One of the companies the students will visit is Prezi, a business focused on presentation building, that originated in Hungary.

“I'm hoping to experience the traditional Turkish baths in Istanbul that many locals participate in to become clean before entering holy mosques,” Thompson said. "It's not so much what I want to see, but rather what I want to do."

Thompson will then make his way to Austria. Alone. He'll spend a week and a half exploring Vienna and Toulouse, France. Thompson will stay with locals and hopes they will show him around.

“I want to visit the less-known parts, the gems," he said.

Next, Thompson will fulfill a promise he made to himself years ago to travel to Spain. He'll spend a month there on his own with no definite plans.

"I don't want to be tied down to any one place for a certain period of time," Thompson said. "Heck, maybe I'll just hang up my hammock and sleep on the beach."

“I want to see the local life of Spaniards in coastal towns,” Thompson said. He also hopes to see the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the windmills described in Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

This trip will be the longest amount of time Thompson has been alone. He is excited to spend some time outside of the “Utah bubble.”

"I feel this is one of the best opportunities to make decisions on my own, relax a bit and make some memories with people I have yet to meet," Thompson said.

After Thompson’s exploration of Spain, he will meet his family in Florence, Italy. He said he is excited to spend time with his brother who he hasn’t seen for four years. He and his family will then travel through other parts of Europe for the remainder of the trip.

Thompson will return to Utah on Aug. 14.

“We all want to travel all over the place," Thompson said. "But rarely do we act on it."

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